As I’ve mentioned before, I have a very large family. I have 10 siblings, my husband has 4 and my kids have 21 cousins. My side of the family is mostly split between Buffalo and North Carolina. We try to make one trip out to Buffalo a year. It’s only about a 7 hour car trip so we drive there. North Carolina, on the other hand, is quite a trip to drive. But I really want my kids to know their cousins.
I knew my cousins on my mom’s side of the family very well. All of them lived in the Buffalo area and we spent nearly all major holidays together usually at my grandparents’ house. I hardly knew the cousins on my dad’s side of the family since most of them lived in California. I loved that I was so close to my mom’s side and regretted that I didn’t get to know my dad’s side.
One huge benefit of this travel game that we play is the experiences that you can gain. I love taking trips to far away places and what those experiences can teach my kids. But I also love that it affords us the chance for them to get to know their family who live further away better.
I have a sister who is only 1 year older than me and we both had kids around the same age. And both of our first 2 kids (she has 3) were boys. The 4 of them have so much fun when they see each other. This year, my sister and I thought it would be fun if my older son could visit them for a week during the summer. (I think my younger son is still too young to spend a week away from home.) We signed her younger son and my older son up for the same summer camp. This type of experience would have been quite expensive to consider before starting this travel game. But it will cost very little out of pocket to make it happen because of the travel game.
I still have money from a travel voucher we earned by being bumped from a flight on our way back from Wyoming last summer. We used some of the vouchers to book our trip to Disney, but we still had about $500 left. That amount could have totally coved my son’s ticket to NC if I was willing to let him travel alone. However, I’m not comfortable with that yet, plus I’d really like to see my family. So I’m going to flew there and back with him. I will only stay for the weekends flanking the week he’s staying. And I will book a separate ticket to be home during the week he’s there. I will probably end up paying a total of $200 out of pocket. That is so worth it to me to give my son the gift of a week with his cousins, aunts and uncles in NC.
So think outside the box when planning your travels. It doesn’t always have to be to exotic locations. Think about the experiences that you can gain. The world is your oyster.